Here are some of the of books I've illustrated over the years, though I have contributed to many others. The main titles are shown and described in more detail below, these are accompanied by the publishers blurb, followed by a few comments of my own.

In the past 10-12 years or so, I've established an excellent working relationship and friendship with Andrew and Anne Branson of British Wildlife Publishing, and most of the books I've illustrated recently have been published by them. They have been meticulous in their attention to detail, and are, I think, the most conscientious publishers of wildlife books in Britain today. Although B.W.P. has been taken over by Bloomsbury, the titles can be bought direct from them at British Wildlife/Bloomsbury Publishing

Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland

Bees are a fascinating and indispensable group of insects, but many species are in decline, and efforts to help determine distributions and changes in abundance have to date been compromised by a serious lack of identification resources. This eagerly anticipated new addition to the highly acclaimed British Wildlife Field Guides series will unravel the complexities of identification, and is designed to cater for people new to the bee world as well as to more experienced recorders who wish to identify every species accurately. It provides the latest information on the identification, ecology, status and distribution of all 275 species of bee in Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

'Rather like the recent book on Micro-moths, there is no single-volume book available on the subject of British bees, since 'The Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Islands' by Edward Saunders (1896). So, together with Steven Falk, the highly renowned entomologist, we are hoping to do for bees what the micro-moth book, is hopefully, doing for micros - giving them the attention they deserve. I've put together a plate of bees showing their amazing diversity, together with one of the more spectacular immigrants, the Violet Carpenter Bee Xylocopa violacea, which has been turning up in recent years, here' :- Bees

Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland

One of the most eagerly anticiptated insect guides for years . . .This is the most comprehensive field guide to micro-moths ever published in a single volume, and, for the first time, makes this fascinating and important group of insects accessible to the general naturalist. The guide covers 1,033 species, with more than 1,500 superbly detailed artworks and photographs. It also includes 900 specially commissioned maps.

'One of the most challenging of all the books I've illustrated, as well as one of those I'm most pleased with. It is also the first book where I've scanned and adjusted all the images myself, prior to printing and I'm relieved and delighted with the result. It was also great working with Phil Sterling and Mark Parsons, who got the balance of text just right.'

Field Guide to the Dragonflies & Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland

All Great Britain and Ireland's resident and migrant dragonfly and damselfly species fully described and illustrated with more than 280 colour works by Richard Lewington, one of Europe's foremost wildlife illustrators. Fully updated, revised and redesigned, this 2014 edition features full descriptions, ecological notes and distribution maps, as well as a general introduction and regional guide to the best places to watch dragonflies. The 2002 edition was shortlisted for the BP Natural World Book Prize.

'Of all the editions of this book, from the point of view of printing, design and content, this revised edition is by far the best.'

The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland

An authoritative account of our butterflies, accessibly written and beautifully illustrated. First published in 1991, it sold out in the early 1990s and was never reprinted. This completely revised edition includes substantially revised species accounts, all including the latest information and research. Also contains nearly 100 new artworks painted by Richard Lewington. Provides comprehensive coverage of all the resident and migratory butterflies found in Great Britain and Ireland, including the latest information on newly discovered species such as Cryptic Wood White and the Geranium Bronze.

'Now that it's finally out (April 2010), I think I can say, from the point of view of production, design and printing, and the eloquent writing of Jeremy Thomas, this is the book I'm most pleased with.'

Collins Butterfly Guide

This classic guide to the butterflies of Britain and Europe enters its third edition as part of the authoritative `Collins Guide' series. This comprehensive guide to the butterflies of Britain, Europe and North Africa describes and illustrates all 440 species, depicting both males and females and - where there is significant variation - subspecies. Distribution maps accompany every widespread species, and the text covers all taxonomic nomenclature, distributions, flight periods, variations, habitats, behaviour, life cycles and conservation. An ideal field guide for butterfly enthusiasts and naturalists alike.

'The latest edition of this field guide is an improvement on the first edition, as far as layout and design are concerned but it could have been a lot better, given more thought and time. Too many errors were introduced (though many of these have now been corrected) and suggestions ignored. When all the European butterfly experts get together and agree on nomenclature, this book could then, one day, be made almost perfect! I still think though, it is the best field guide to European butterflies, and I use it continually on my tours to butterfly hot-spots around Europe.'

Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland

Nearly all the resident and migrant British and Irish species of macro-moths have been illustrated and described in this portable guide. Concise field descriptions written by leading moth experts Paul Waring and Martin Townsend feature opposite colour plates illustrated by Richard Lewington. The superb artwork shows moths in their natural resting postures. This is a great practical solution for every active moth enthusiast.

'A briefer version of the 'field guide', designed for practical use in the field. Because of it's low price and ease of use, it has proved very popular and can be misused more than the costlier, more detailed version.'

Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain and Europe

Identification guide to all resident and migrant dragonflies and damselflies in Europe, from the Arctic to the Sahara, including western Turkey, Cyprus, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and the Azores, Canaries and Madeira. Includes keys, distribution maps, field descriptions, identification tables, a country-by-country guide to finding dragonflies and a comprehensive introduction to studying and identifying dragonflies.

'Probably the most taxing of projects but the final result was very pleasing, as the production and printing are excellent.'

Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland

With illustrations by Richard Lewington, this is the first field guide to illustrate and describe all the British and Irish macro-moths showing the species in their natural resting posture. Brings together up-to-date information on identification, life-cycle, foodplants, habitats, status, and distribution. Written by some of the UK's leading lepidopterists and illustrated by one of Europe's finest natural history artists.

'First published in 2003, this book was well received but needed improvements, which have been resolved in the latest edition. Also, some of the plates in the first edition weren't reproduced as well as they could have been, but with colour adjustments and the re-scanning of images, many of these are better in the latest printing. Compare for example the Elephant Hawkmoth and the female Ghost Moth with those in the first edition.'

Guide to Garden Wildlife

This book includes the vast majority of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other invertebrates that you are likely to encounter in the garden or on your local wildlife patch. The introduction covers the functional role of different animal types in our gardens - soil dwellers, herbivores, pollinators, predators and parasitoids along with advice on attracting wildlife to your garden. Each animal group is introduced with general biology, life-cycle and basic ecology.

'I took on the authorship as well as the illustrations for this book following the tragic death of Steve Hopkin. It was one of the most interesting projects I've worked on and made me realise just how much there is to learn about our less exotic wildlife, and how important our gardens are for the well-being of many species. I like to think it's one of the best introductions to British wildlife available, but it has to contend with the plethora of wildlife books which are churned out and then remaindered in Garden Centres after a few months.'

Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland

Practical guide, written and illustrated by one of Europe's leading natural history artists and butterfly experts. Identifies all the resident and migrant species of butterfly that have occurred in Great Britain and Ireland. Includes artworks of adult males and females and all life stages. Describes each species, its life-cycle, status and distribution. Includes a distribution map for each of the resident species, and a plate on day-flying moths.

'This is one of my favourite books, which ticks all the boxes for a field guide. It's pocket-sized, well laid-out, concise, cheap and well printed; what more can a fussy illustrator ask for? Fully updated with all the latest information in 2015'

The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland

This is a series of books in several volumes. Contains keys to and descriptions of all of the known British species of butterflies and moths. Richard Lewington has illustrated volumes 3, 4 pts.1&2 and 7 pts.1&2

'In 1986 I was asked, by Basil Harley, to illustrate the 'Butterflies' volume of 'MOGBI' and had the pleasure of working with John Heath and Maitland Emmet on this and subsequent volumes until the retirement of Basil and Annette Harley a few years ago. Apollo Books took over production of the series followed by Brill, they intend using photographs to illustrate future volumes.'

Books Illustrated by R. L.

  1. Insects - Hamlyn 1979
  2. Butterfly Watching - Severn House 1980
  3. The Mitchell Beazley pocket guide to Butterflies - Mitchell Beazley 1981
  4. Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe - Collins 1986
  5. The Encyclopaedia of Insects - George Allen & Unwin 1986
  6. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 7 pt.1 - Harley Books 1989
  7. The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland - Dorling Kindersley 1991
  8. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 7 pt.2 - Harley Books 1991
  9. The Pocket guide to Insects of the Northern Hemisphere - Dragon's World 1992
  10. The Natural History of the Oak Tree - Dorling Kindersley 1993
  11. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida - O.U.P. 1994
  12. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 3 - Harley Books 1996
  13. Collins Field Guide to Butterflies of Britain and Europe - HarperCollins 1997
  14. Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 1997
  15. How to Identify Butterflies - HarperCollins 1999
  16. Essential Entomology - O.U.P. 1999
  17. The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. 4 pt.1 & pt.2 - Harley Books 2002
  18. Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2003
  19. Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2003
  20. Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain and Europe - British Wildlife Publishing 2006
  21. Concise Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2007
  22. Guide to Garden Wildlife - British Wildlife Publishing 2008
  23. The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2010
  24. Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2012
  25. Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland - British Wildlife Publishing 2015

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